2019 Nissan Versa Review

Versa

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2019 Nissan Versa Overview

One of the most appealing things about the Nissan Versa is its price. The current second-generation model debuted for 2012; it’s available as the standard Nissan Versa in sedan form or as a separate hatchback model called the Versa Note. Changes are minimal for 2019. Updates to the SV Special Edition package now include 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, chrome accents on the front fascia, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, special emblems, push-button start, engine immobilizer, satellite radio capability, and Bluetooth. The 2019 Nissan Versa is offered in S, S Plus, and SV trims.

Under the hood, there is only one engine choice. It’s a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder that makes 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a 5-speed manual, although the available CVT is also available. That’s just not a lot for a new automobile in this day and age, even a small basic economy car -- and the Versa takes over 11 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, potentially making passing on the highway a challenge. On the plus side, the Versa, when equipped with a CVT, will manage 31 mpg city, 39 highway, and 34 combined. Around town, the Versa has adequate power for getting around as well as delivering a small turning radius.

The Versa is basic, albeit roomy, on the inside, with plenty of space for large adult passengers in both the front and rear. The 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space is decent, but buyers have to spring for the range-topping SV trim in order to get a split-folding rear seat. The base model Versa S is pretty sparse, offering manual windows and locks. It does feature a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and cruise control. Stepping up to the SV is the only way to get features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, a USB port, and a better stereo.

Because the Versa is an older design, it has missed out on the advanced in automotive safety of the past few years and its crash test results suffer as a result. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Versa a Poor rating in the small front overlap test, and Nissan hasn’t retrofitted the Versa the kind of active safety features that are available in most new cars on the market right now. There is a reversing camera that comes standard.

People looking for a basic commuter car that makes up for its sparseness with fuel economy will want to consider the Versa. It’s one of the most affordable new cars on sale in America and that counts for a lot, although the lack of safety features and lackluster crash test results aren’t reassuring. It’s a car that will get you from Point A to Point B, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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Nissan Versa Questions

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